Webinar video/webcam layouts overview


You’ve probably sat in on one: the webinar in which everything goes wrong. Screens can’t be shared, sound issues abound – technical difficulties galore. Such a webinar is frustrating for participants and viewers alike, and it saps credibility from the business hosting it. Fortunately, you can sidestep common challenges and deliver smooth, successful webinars. How? By checking out our insights.

In this article, we will answer 3 FAQs about presenting a BrightTALK webinar:

  1. How do you change layouts during a talk?
  2. How do you spotlight a presenter during a webinar?
  3. How do you show slides and presenters at the same time?

Q: How do I change layouts during a talk?

Stellar public speakers know how to keep listeners engaged by adjusting their pacing, volume and gestures. Webinars offer presenters another way to make engaging adjustments: layout changes. A seamless transition to a key slide hammers home the importance of a message, just as spotlighting (or pinning) the view of the main speaker conveys their authority, blocking out any visual distractions. Before you can expertly maneuver through layouts, you need to understand the basics and your options.   

For starters, when you change the size of your browser, the presenter video feeds might be resized in order to fit the newly constrained space. You may be concerned that this change affects your audience’s viewing experience. Rest assured, it does not. Now it’s time to consider layout changes to resize the video feed as needed for your session. Both presenters and observers can select layout changes. When a presenter selects a layout, the view is changed for presenters and the audience. If you’re the only presenter with your video on, you have 3 layouts to choose from. You can find them by clicking Change layout, which is located on the bottom right of the presenter screen. The layouts are: 

  • Gallery: all presenters displayed in equal size in a grid view
  • Full: active speaker displayed in full view
  • Sidebar: active speaker side-by-side with all presenters 


A few use cases in which layouts are meaningful are when presenting slides, playing video or screensharing. In these situations, you have 3 layout options:

  • Full: Displays content in full view
  • Sidebar: Presents content side by side with all presenters 
  • Split: Showcases content side by side with the active speaker only


Full exists as the default layout. Though, if you switch from Full to another layout, your most-recent selection will be remembered for next time. Relatedly, if you click End xxx, the last-used presenter layout will be displayed. For example, if you launched a slide from a Sidebar presenter layout, clicking End xxx will return you to the original side-by-side view.

So, we’ve overviewed the basics and your layout choices. We can now shift our attention to another important topic: spotlighting. 

How do you spotlight a presenter during a webinar?

Spotlighting allows you to maximize a presenter's video feed in full screen for all attendees and anyone on the presenter screen. There are 2 types of spotlighting: automatic, or auto, and manual.

Automatic spotlighting is a functionality that is available when you have 3 or more presenters. To ensure that your active speaker is spotlighted, you can click Change layout and select Full or Sidebar. To maximize the effectiveness of auto spotlighting, we recommend that all participants mute their mics when they’re not presenting. Also important to note is that dialed-in presenters cannot be automatically spotlighted; they must be spotlighted manually.

So, how do you manually spotlight a presenter? Click the Presenters button on the bottom bar of the presenter screen, where you will see a list of available presenters in the carousel. Then make your selection. 

You can return to a normal grid view by either:

  1. Selecting Gallery view under Change layout on the bottom right of the presenter screen
  2. Clicking the Presenters button, then selecting the All presenters card

Let’s move on to our final question. 

How do you show slides and presenters at the same time?

While walking an audience through important information, it can benefit you as a presenter to show yourself and your slides side by side. Why? This transition enables your audience to connect your insights to a human being, allowing you to facilitate a more personal experience, further developing viewer engagement.  

To display your slides and presenters together, follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Launch your slides or screenshare 
  2. Click Change layout on the bottom right of the presenter screen
  3. Select the Sidebar option (which will show all presenters on the right) or the Split option (which will spotlight only the active speaker) 


Our discussion about layouts and spotlighting has drawn to a close. We hope that these insights have instilled in you confidence and excitement that you can harness while creating your future thoroughly engaging, skillful webinars with BrightTALK. 

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